Re-activating the Social Condenser

Reactivating the Social Condenser; Architecture against Privation (18 May 2015)

The conference was funded by the UCL Urban Laboratory, and the UCL Grand Challenge: Human Wellbeing, and co-convened by Dr Michal Murawski (SSEES) and Professor Jane Rendell (The Bartlett School of Architecture)

Speakers: Nick Beech (Oxford Brookes/CCA) social condensations in 1960s London
- Jonathan Charley (Strathclyde) on radical architectural memories
- Udo Grashoff (SSEES, UCL) on ‘schwarzwohnen’ in East Germany
- Owen Hatherley (London) on ‘actually-existing’ social condensers
- Michael Marriott and Richard Wentworth (artists) on the ‘laundry room’
- Michal Murawski (SSEES, UCL) on Stalinist social condensers
- Andrea Phillips (Goldsmiths) on housing, art and activism
- Jane Rendell (The Bartlett, UCL) on the social condenser and the setting
- Lukasz Stanek (Manchester) on Lefebvre and the social condenser
- Andy Willimott (SSEES) on everyday life in Soviet house communes
- Victor Buchli (Anthropology, UCL)

Dr Michal Murawski (SSEES) and Professor Jane Rendell (The Bartlett School of Architecture) then published in 2017 Reactivating the Social Condenser, as a special issue of the Journal of Architecture, including contributions from some of the conference speakers, as well as a new essay by architect/theorist/historian Anna Bokov, as well as an interview with Alexi Ginzberg, the grandson of the architect of the Narkomfin (1928-9) – possibly the most famous of the Moscow social condensers – and the architect of its current refurbishment.

Funded by the Bartlett School of Architecture’s Architecture Research Fund, the special issue contains new translations of some of Moisei Ginzberg’s writings on constructivism from the 1920s.

Reactivating the Social Condenser  was launched in Moscow in October 2018.


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